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 Post subject: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #1 Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:07 pm 
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Who here knows the hardness of Hyuga-kaya wood on Janka scale?

The reason for asking is because I have a goban made of such wood. I bought it from Kiseido more than 10 years ago. The board is made of two pieces of Hyuga-kaya joined seamlessly at the middle. There is a scratch mark on the surface - it's about 3-4 inches long. Rather than sell it (because I no longer play GO), I had a really crazy idea... why not sand down the top surface and convert it into a kitchen cutting board?? But to do so, I need to know the approximate hardness of the wood so I can determine for myself whether it'd be appropriate.

I have several high-end Japanese knives that I would like to protect as much as possible. Can't do that if the wood is too hard. I think kaya is generally considered a softwood, but how soft is "soft"? Without a quantitative Janka hardness scale number attached to it, the terms "hard" or "soft" is really subjective.

I tried used websites such as https://www.wood-database.com to find the hardness rating of Hyuga kaya, or any kaya in general, but no luck so far. Maybe kaya goes by another name in English?

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Post #2 Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:22 pm 
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カヤ kaya
Torreya nucifera


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Post #3 Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:13 pm 
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EdLee wrote:


I tried that name already, but it didn't yield any useful result:
https://imgur.com/RQnFQ7t

So I'm back to square one...

The fact that I haven't been able to find much info on this wood shows that it's probably an uncommon material for uses other than goban. And if nobody has ever tried to make a cutting board out of kaya, there's probably a good reason for it. But damned if I know what that reason is. :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #4 Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:08 am 
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Quote:
And if nobody has ever tried to make a cutting board out of kaya, there's probably a good reason for it.


Kaya is esteemed by humans for boards partly for its fragrance. That means insects also esteem it. I can't imagine many people want insects hungrily watching and waiting while they cut up food.

Humans, at least in areas where insects thrive, dress their kaya boards in a paulownia box to ward off insects, though I'm not clear what damage insects might cause apart from carrying germs. Maybe the idea is just to keep them out of the house?

Another aspect is that kaya stains.

If insects and heat are not a problem, or if the wood is old enough to have lost its fragrance and bright colour, try dicing on the underside. Or with a spare piece of wood you could make one of those mallets for tenderising beef steaks and use it instead for bopping the insects on the head. This could be a game more fun than go. Always hammer at the head of two bugs. Kill two bugs with one clout. Hammer and CONNECT!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #5 Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:17 am 
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I had the numbers somewhere, but I don't have access to that fileset right now.

Torreya's, as I recall, is quite soft. Cypress-like, IIRC.

If it's useful, check this. It doesn't seem to have Janka, but it does have a workability measure. If I understand it correctly, it gives you the hardness against planing and such, but to against impact (which is quite soft; hard Gohan are uncomfortable).

Also, dents are part and parcel of a goban. Are you sure you won't sell? This wood has become rare.

Take care

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #6 Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:57 pm 
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The thought of sanding down a Kaya goban to use it as a cutting board is causing physical pain for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #7 Posted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:48 pm 
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Unless it is damaged, probably that board can be sold, maybe via L19, for more than its original price.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #8 Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:18 am 
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Decades ago, a German fashion magazine ran a photo spread about some idiotic interior designer who had used "huge antique oriental plant stands" in an apartment. Six or more very old, traditional go boards had been culturally appropriated by an ignorant lout. When contacted by the local go club, the designer apologized, replaced the artifacts, and sold them to some go players but they had been badly damaged by water and scratches. IIRC, someone volunteered to try to repair them.

For goodness sakes, sell the freakin' board to someone who wants a kaya board! Craftsmen don't make many kaya boards these days and they're expensive. Take the money and buy a freakin' 2" or 4" cutting board from Boos. Get it in maple or cherry or walnut. Or contribute to your local economy and Have a cutting board custom made for you by a local wood worker. You could have it laser engraved to look like a go board to remind you of how close you came to cultural appropriation of an otherwise easily marketable artifact.

https://www.johnboos.com/Items_page.asp ... &csa=False

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #9 Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:46 pm 
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I bought a kaya cutting board from Japan years ago. Haven't really used it at all. Need to figure out where I stored it now. LOL.
Anyways check this thread to see it. Sort of see it because of Photobucket.
https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=10434

I would suggest you sell your kaya go board as a kaya go board to a go enthusiast and then use the money to buy a nice chopping board and maybe another kitchen knife. Your old board will be worth more to a go enthusiast as a go board than to a kitchen knife enthusiast as an unusual chopping board.

Look at the listing for kaya chopping board here to see what I mean about the prices.
https://www.kayanomori.com/SHOP/29917/list.html

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 Post subject: Re: Hardness of Hyuga-Kaya Wood?
Post #10 Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2020 7:10 am 
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There are many relatively inexpensive ordinary items made from kaya wood. From a large kaya tree only a few go boards can be made. After the go board wood has been harvested there remains a lot of wood that can be used for go bowls, cutting boards, teacup saucers, trays, small boxes, etc.

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